A pro’s tips on recovering a lost pet

For those of you who follow my column, you will recall the column published on May 29 regarding the lost dog my daughter rescued while out on a hike.

After that column ran, I received a very informative email from a volunteer at Mesa County Animal Services. Nan not only corrected me on a misleading Facebook page but also shared a tremendous amount of information on steps you can take to recover a lost dog.

As a volunteer at Animal Services socializing adoptable dogs, Nan has talked with many individuals and families searching for their lost friend.

She reported that as of 9:30 a.m. that Sunday, there were 30 lost dogs and cats listed on their website. Nan was slightly exasperated I had provided a Facebook page that was no longer active, and that I had not offered more information to help lost animals become reunited with their owners.

Social media can be a powerful tool. It provides instant access to information that spreads like wildfire over the internet. The Facebook page I recommended in last month’s article referred to Grand Junction Lost and Found Pets.

Nan quickly corrected me, stating the page was no longer being maintained. She recommended the two most active Facebook pages, Mesa County Lost and Found Pets and Lost and Found Pets of Mesa County.

From a volunteer’s experience working with families who have lost or found a pet, Nan had several beneficial points in helping folks reunite with their best friend. You can post on Animal Services’ Lost and Found site at pets.mesacounty.us/lost-found-pets-in-our-community. Be sure to include a recent picture of your pet, along with a complete description such as male, female, intact, neutered or spayed.

Hopefully, your pet has a collar with identification tags attached, although the collar or tags sometimes come off during flight. Be sure to explain in detail the color and style of the collar.

Provide information relating to the specific area of town the animal was lost and the approximate time. The more information you provide, the better the chances of successfully reuniting you and your pet.

Keep watching the site for recent updates as new arrivals come into the shelter.

Nan also suggested visiting the Animal Services facility at 971A Coffman Road in Whitewater. The facility is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on holidays.

If you find a lost dog and are unable to find the owners, Animal Services has after-hour kennels to place pets. Call 242-4646 and talk to the dispatcher. They will give you instructions on protocol to house the animal.

Roice Hurst Humane Society also has links on its website for lost and found pets. You may access that forum through the Community Resources link found at rhhumanesociety.org. Again, providing as much information as you can on any of these sites will dramatically increase the chances of being reunited with your pet.

Nan had several other suggestions to expedite finding your friend. Create picture posters with a detailed description and hang them in your neighborhood. Your pet cannot be too far from home if you notice early on they’re missing. Inform your neighbors of the situation to assist in expanding the eyes of the search.

Many of the local radio stations will holler out to their listeners if you call with information about a lost or found pet.

In addition, contact your veterinarian and nearby clinics to inform them of your specific situation. If an animal has been micro-chipped, a quick swipe from a chip detector will reveal identification.

Network with multiple people and agencies to speed up results when searching for a lost pet. There are a lot of good folks out there who can help.

People such as Nan are a perfect example of caring individuals who just love animals and want to make a difference in their lives. 

Thanks for your information, Nan.

Charlé Thibodeau has been passionate pet caregiver for more than 30 years. If you have a pets question you would like Thibodeau to answer in her column, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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